Euthanasia SOP


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General Protocol

• Euthanasia procedures and techniques on this farm are selected from methods approved by the American Association of Swine Veterinarians and the National Pork Board. Approved methods are summarized in the booklet “On-Farm Euthanasia of Swine: Recommendations for the Producer.”

• Caretakers who are responsible for euthanasia should always be aware of human safety and choose methods that do not put caretakers at unnecessary risk (National Pork Board, 2016).

• The chosen method should minimize pain and distress of the pig during administration (National Pork Board, 2016).

• The steps to complete a euthanasia action on the farm will consist of: creating a plan to complete euthanasia, checking to make sure equipment to be used is functioning properly, completing euthanasia following approved guidelines, and confirming insensibility and death.

• All caretakers responsible for euthanasia will receive proper training to correctly complete euthanasia tasks. This information will be reviewed on an annual basis.

• A caretaker properly trained in euthanasia will be available at all times to complete the task. If a trained caretaker is not at the farm and euthanasia is needed, a trained caretaker will be called in.

• The procedures used will be selected from approved methods based on suitability for the size of the pig and the training of the caretaker responsible.

• Euthanasia equipment will be properly stored and maintained, maintenance will be completed monthly on all equipment, and a written record of this will be kept by caretakers.

• Pigs shall be provided with adequate medical attention when they are injured or ill. Pigs that remain in distress in spite of 2 days of intense medical attention and are not responding to care, pigs that are immobilized and with a body condition score of 1, or those pigs that will not recover must be humanely euthanized to avoid unnecessary suffering.

• Euthanasia should be done in a timely, appropriate, and humane manner. A pig that may be compromised, doing poorly, nonambulatory, nonresponsive to treatment, or severely ill or injured should be evaluated as a potential candidate for euthanasia. The goal of timely euthanasia is to minimize the pain and distress of the pig (National Pork Board, 2015).

There are multiple ways to perform euthanasia on pigs. The procedures on the following pages summarize the approved methods so that a customized standard procedure can be developed.

Approved Methods

  • Manual blunt force trauma (MBFT)
  • Nonpenetrating captive bolt (NPCB)
  • Penetrating captive bolt (PCB)
  • Gunshot
  • Carbon Dioxide (C02)

Secondary Steps

  • Original methods of euthanasia
  • Exsanguination
  • PIthing 

Confirming Insensibility and Death


Useful Information



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